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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thread!

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thread!

Old 05-06-11, 09:23 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

is kind of silly to say that one film or other would not be as historically acurate enough or that it could go on another challenge when all films take artistic freedoms with characters, dates, locations etc. If period pieces count as they did last year, then most of not all should count. does it matter that is about two lovers that did or did not exist in pre-revolution france or two brothers looking for revenge from the Qin dinasty and kicking ass while doing it?
Old 05-06-11, 09:30 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by BuddhaWake
is kind of silly to say that one film or other would not be as historically acurate enough or that it could go on another challenge when all films take artistic freedoms with characters, dates, locations etc. If period pieces count as they did last year, then most of not all should count. does it matter that is about two lovers that did or did not exist in pre-revolution france or two brothers looking for revenge from the Qin dinasty and kicking ass while doing it?
Precisely why, last year, I was opposed to the blanket inclusion of costume dramas. Can't un-ring the bell, though. Look, if it's set in a distinctive setting from the past, it's in. If it's Bruce Lee fighting in 1960s Hong Kong, it's out. That's my kneejerk ruling, open to being revised upon compelling argument.
Old 05-06-11, 09:59 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by ororama

I'm planning on watching Dream of the Red Chamber again during this challenge. It's an A-movie (at least by Hong Kong standards) drama about romantic intrigues in an aristocratic household in 18th century China, based on a classic novel that is believed to be at least somewhat autobiographical. In other words, pretty much what this challenge is supposed to be about, although it would technically be considered a "safe" movie for the Drive-In Challenge, since it was a Shaw Brothers production.
Shaw did two versions of DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER, one in 1962 and one in 1977. The older one is okay, but the '77 version, with Brigitte Lin and Sylvia Chang, is a masterpiece, and unlike any Hong Kong film I've yet seen. If you had to choose one, that would be it.
Old 05-06-11, 10:32 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by omike
First thanks to everyone who commented on the samurai/kung fu issue. Lots to think about since everyone made good points. The movies I had in mind when I asked the question were any of Kurasawa's black and white samurai films and something like The Kid With the Golden Arm from the Shaw Brothers. The latter is about gold sent for famine relief which is the target of a bandit gang. This leads to lots of colorful martial arts action. So its a pretty generic situation and I'm still not sure I'd count it for this challenge. I would like opinions on whether films from The Sleepy Eyes of Death or the five movie Miyamoto Mushashi series, both from AnimEigo, would count (Any thoughts Ash Ketchum?).
The Musashi Miyamoto series you're referring to would definitely count. It's based on the book series about Musashi (which I read recently) and focuses on actual historical figures and events. I haven't seen these films myself but based on what I've read, the series may actually constitute a closer adaptation of the books than the more famous Inagaki/Mifune Samurai trilogy. I want to see these films myself.

"Sleepy Eyes of Death" is trickier. I don't believe it's based on any real historical figures, although the historical setting is very specific. MinLShaw may want to weigh in on this.
Old 05-06-11, 12:37 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
I blind-bought that BD a couple months ago and immediately fell in love with it. I highly recommend that you watch the "Night at the Movies" before the film. I found that really added to the experience. Also, there's a short film, Cruise of the Zaca that would be eligible for this challenge. There was an oceanographic expedition conducted using Errol Flynn's schooner, the Zaca, and Flynn filmed it. It's pretty neat; a sort of early Discovery Channel program. Earth-shattering? No. But worthwhile, I felt, and pretty much any documentary is, by design, eligible for this challenge so while you've got the disc loaded there's really no greater impetus to give it a look.
I like that idea: putting the history into the historical challenge
Old 05-06-11, 12:57 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Excited to get this going. I bought the Complete Deadwood Series on BD and I'm looking forward to revisiting it. Also, contemplating watching the Ken Burns series The War (because it's streaming).
Old 05-06-11, 03:06 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
"Sleepy Eyes of Death" is trickier. I don't believe it's based on any real historical figures, although the historical setting is very specific. MinLShaw may want to weigh in on this.
I just did some basic research and it appears this is set in feudal Japan. Good enough for me. Have fun, those of you who want to watch Sleepy Eyes of Death!
Old 05-06-11, 03:10 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

maybe I'll finally get around to seeing History of England, I've only had it for 2 years without watching it but I usually don't like to do TV for challenges. Off the top of my head I wouldn't even be able to tell how tv episodes count. lol.

Maybe I'll pick up the Miyamoto Mushashi series as I've been meaning to. how about the Mikogami trilogy?

MinLShaw, i'm with you about custom/period pieces but many historical dramas are based on these. Most people need a human element. I don't have that many or maybe I just don't think certai stuff as being period pieces but for this challenge it would be a bit hard to do otherwise, in my opinion unless is strictly war and documentaries.
Old 05-06-11, 03:19 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by CardiffGiant
Excited to get this going. I bought the Complete Deadwood Series on BD and I'm looking forward to revisiting it. Also, contemplating watching the Ken Burns series The War (because it's streaming).
Darn it, Deadwood. I could clearly make this a Westerns-only challenge since I dug up so many preparing for the B-Movie Challenge--Django, OUATITW, Boetticher, 7 Men from Now, Deadwood--but then I got on the Flynn kick. Maybe a Flynn mini-marathon followed by the above Westerns.
Old 05-06-11, 03:19 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I loved this challenge last year. I was able to watch a lot of my stock. My personal stock runs about like this; 40% Western / War, 40% Horror, 10 % comedy 10% Drama, Documentary. Numbers are not exact just my estimation. So i was able to use a lot of my DVD stock that I already own. Plus this month I will be adding a lot of new titles to boot. With the new Gettysburg, Once upon a Time in the West, Horse Soldiers, etc all coming out this month. I should be primed and ready.
Old 05-06-11, 03:19 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by BuddhaWake
Off the top of my head I wouldn't even be able to tell how tv episodes count. lol.
There's a standard formula that we're using. Two hours of TV broadcast time is worth one movie. The run time of most TV content is less than the broadcast time (because of commercial breaks), but we account for the fact that you may be forced to watch a show over the air rather than on disc. Let's say you watch a pair of hour-long specials on The History Channel. Those two combine to be worth 1 entry. If you had them on DVD, they'd only run about 45 minutes but you can't help the fact you're watching the TV broadcast with commercials. Here's an example:
  1. One-Hour TV Special
    Another One-Hour TV Special
  2. Movie
  3. One-Hour TV Episode
    One 30-Minute TV Episode
    Another 30-Minute TV Episode
  4. Movie

Does that help?
Old 05-06-11, 03:24 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I checked last year's list thread to see if I ever made it through Where Eagles Dare. It looks like all I watched was Mad Men and one episode of 30 for 30

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/57...st-thread.html
Old 05-06-11, 03:31 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by davidh777
I have a lot of Errol Flynn that I'd love to finally watch: The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, They Died with Their Boots On. But what about Robin Hood? Definitely period, debatable historical.
Two of my favorite Flynn movies, both eligible for this challenge, are THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN, and SILVER RIVER, both 1948. DON JUAN is quintessential womanizing Flynn while SILVER RIVER, directed by Raoul Walsh, is a post-Civil War western in which he's a former Confederate officer trying to strike it rich out west and playing dirty while doing it. Flynn's portrayals in both are darker than in his earlier films and make them, IMHO, more interesting.

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 05-06-11 at 03:37 PM.
Old 05-06-11, 03:37 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I'm trying to think of a Flynn movie that wouldn't qualify for this challenge
Old 05-06-11, 03:43 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Another interesting subset of historical films is the 1930s disaster movie based on actual disasters:
THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1935)
SAN FRANCISCO (1936) - about the San Francisco Earthquake
IN OLD CHICAGO (1937) - about the Chicago Fire
THE SISTERS (1938) - with Flynn and Bette Davis - about the SF Earthquake

Plus, historical dramas about more generic disasters:
THE GOOD EARTH (1937) - based on Pearl Buck's novel about peasants in China, interrupted by a storm of locusts
SUEZ (1938) - about the digging of the Suez Canal, interrupted by a massive sandstorm
THE RAINS CAME (1939) - romantic drama interrupted by huge flooding in India

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 05-06-11 at 09:26 PM.
Old 05-06-11, 05:00 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Had to dust this one off...

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
Well, it's looking like Saving Private Ryan is gonna be deferred yet again. I'm thinking about anchoring this year's Historical Challenge around it, and plan on commemorating D-Day with it on 6 June.
Originally Posted by CardiffGiant
I planned on rewatching Saving Private Ryan, but it didn't happen, I like your idea of planning it for the Historical Challenge. I think it's been about 10 years since I've seen it.
Originally Posted by MinLShaw
Cool! You can remind me, or I can remind you...and we can both fail to actually watch it in June!
Consider yourself reminded.
Old 05-06-11, 05:03 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
The Musashi Miyamoto series you're referring to would definitely count. It's based on the book series about Musashi (which I read recently) and focuses on actual historical figures and events. I haven't seen these films myself but based on what I've read, the series may actually constitute a closer adaptation of the books than the more famous Inagaki/Mifune Samurai trilogy. I want to see these films myself.

"Sleepy Eyes of Death" is trickier. I don't believe it's based on any real historical figures, although the historical setting is very specific. MinLShaw may want to weigh in on this.
Originally Posted by MinLShaw
I just did some basic research and it appears this is set in feudal Japan. Good enough for me. Have fun, those of you who want to watch Sleepy Eyes of Death!
Thanks to you both for your input on this. I think I'll use Sleepy Eyes in my current Make Your Own Challenge Challenge and save the Musashi Miyamoto for this challenge. I also have the Inagaki/Mifune films on VHS which I bought and watched long ago. Might be fun to compare the two series. I didn't realize they were based on the same source material.

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Two of my favorite Flynn movies, both eligible for this challenge, are THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN, and SILVER RIVER, both 1948.
Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Another interesting subset of historical films is the 1930s disaster movie:
THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1935)
Plus, historical dramas about more generic disasters:
SUEZ (1938) - about the digging of the Suez Canal, interrupted by a massive sandstorm
For some reason the above all piqued my curiosity. Don Juan and Pompeii have been added to my Netflix queue. It looks like the other two are only available streaming elsewhere or possibly on VHS.
Old 05-06-11, 05:51 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by ororama
My personal point of view regarding the Drive-In/Exploitation/B-Movie Challenge is that its definitions are too broad, mainly because of numerous safe actors/directors/sub-genres, etc., which flow from inclusions in the checklist. Kung fu movies come into the Drive-In Challenge because of the popularity of badly dubbed movies from this genre which were shown in venues appropriate to the challenge. I watch Hong Kong movies in the original language with subtitles (when necessary).
If a Challenge's rules are too broad for your tastes, nothing's keeping you from adhering to your own self-imposed, stricter set of rules. For instance, I made sure to watch only badly dubbed kung fu movies during the Drive-in Challenge, because to me those seemed more fitting to the spirit of the Challenge. I felt like I was cheating when I added i Maniaci to my list because I watched it subbed (even though it was a Fulci movie with Barbara Steele in the cast).
Old 05-06-11, 07:40 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by Dimension X
If a Challenge's rules are too broad for your tastes, nothing's keeping you from adhering to your own self-imposed, stricter set of rules. For instance, I made sure to watch only badly dubbed kung fu movies during the Drive-in Challenge, because to me those seemed more fitting to the spirit of the Challenge. I felt like I was cheating when I added i Maniaci to my list because I watched it subbed (even though it was a Fulci movie with Barbara Steele in the cast).
I agree with this perspective. I think that the best thing about the challenges is that it invites in the greatest number of people to discuss films and push each other to experience new films.

I think there's an understood "spirit" of each challenge and this one sort of revolves around those things that are historical, but I think it's best to let people interpret that as they will. If someone is just going to watch anything they want to watch, then why even participate in the challenge?

I feel lucky to run the Criterion Challenge because Criterion either released it or they didn't. So, I don't really have to try and settle disputes or enforce rules. Same goes for the Academy Awards.

I find that most of our challenges fall along these lines where there are things in dispute, but I've always been in favor of being inclusive when it comes to these things because it creates more participants and more discourse about works we may not have seen.
Old 05-07-11, 08:44 AM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Shaw did two versions of DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER, one in 1962 and one in 1977. The older one is okay, but the '77 version, with Brigitte Lin and Sylvia Chang, is a masterpiece, and unlike any Hong Kong film I've yet seen. If you had to choose one, that would be it.
I have the 1962 Dream of the Red Chamber. I've watched it once, but it has a lot of characters with rather complex motives and relationships, so keeping track of that may have caused me to miss some of the nuances of the plot and relationships. I'm aware of the practice of women playing male roles in this genre, but I found the male lead at best to be too boyish. I was surprised when there was a reference to his relationship with Lin Dai Yu since childhood, since she looked significantly older. I also found her obliviousness to the intrigues around her to be ridiculous-she was neither an idiot nor a holy fool and was playing the same games herself. This was my first movie of this genre, so I guess I'll get used to its conventions as I see more.

I'm also planning on re-watching The Bride Napping, and first time viewings of Three Sinners, Princess Chang Ping and The Legend of the Purple Hairpin.
Old 05-07-11, 09:10 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

I may participate in this challenge because I love docs and have a bunch of unwatched ones.

I don't want to be disruptive, but I don't know why this has to be so hard. HISTORICAL CHALLENGE should be documentaries or films at least based on ACTUAL EVENTS, not period pieces like any film having to do with WWII, the West, etc. I would include Robin Hood, simply because it's really unknown whether he really existed or not. Also, I would include the Ten Commandments because it is based on what many would consider actual events documented in the Bible.

However, I would not include Hogan's Heroes, MASH, Wild Wild West, etc. because they are fiction, just placed in past.

I know that I will be outvoted. I guess in the end it doesn't matter, this is just an opportunity to work through our unwatched pile. Perhaps we should include Star Wars because it happened A long time ago in a galaxy far, far way
Old 05-07-11, 09:18 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by That'sAllFolks
Also, I would include the Ten Commandments because it is based on what many would consider actual events documented in the Bible.
If that's the case, then how about including films on alien abductions and flying saucer crashes? Some of us consider those actual events and they're far better documented than anything in the Bible.

Just sayin'...
Old 05-07-11, 10:01 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
If that's the case, then how about including films on alien abductions and flying saucer crashes? Some of us consider those actual events and they're far better documented than anything in the Bible.

Just sayin'...
According to some, those events are depicted in the Bible.

I'm planning on doing 45 westerns and then panicking because I haven't planned for what happens after that.
Old 05-07-11, 11:10 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
If that's the case, then how about including films on alien abductions and flying saucer crashes? Some of us consider those actual events and they're far better documented than anything in the Bible.

Just sayin'...
Perhaps you should, if that is what you really believe.
Old 05-07-11, 11:46 PM
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Re: Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Second Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge Discussion Thre

For quite a while, history was taught with an almost exclusive emphasis on people whose names were prominently celebrated: monarchs, presidents, inventors, the most notorious criminals and acclaimed artists. In the last couple of decades, however, there has emerged a growing belief that even though those are the people most associated with the events that have shaped history, that we should make an effort to understand the conditions of life for the majority of people whose stories were never regarded as important.

It is based on this logic that works of fiction set during specific historical periods are included in this challenge. There was no "Hawkeye" Pierce, but M*A*S*H made a concentrated effort to represent the kinds of experiences that American soldiers had during the Korean War. There was no King Arthur or Robin Hood, but their values as mythological folk figures is undeniable. Stories based on such figures, then, can be seen more as Humanities studies than strict History, but are still under the umbrella of Social Sciences.

Participants should make the distinction between this challenge and anything that would qualify for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Challenge. If it would make sense for that challenge, it has no place in this one.

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